The 2014 election saw 11 new governors elected across the country, resulting in a number of changes to the leadership of state technology agencies. Because the state’s top technology official tends to be tied to the state’s high office — either through appointment or at least a close working relationship — a shakeup among state CIO ranks was expected. To help keep track, here are some of the changes that recently took place:
OUT: Sean Vinck served as the CIO of Illinois for four years, but his close ties to outgoing Gov. Pat Quinn ensured that Vinck would leave his post after the election. In a somewhat surprising move, though, Vinck quickly reappeared, joining Oregon as the chief operating officer for the state’s Office of Information Services.
OUT: Tony Encinias resigned as Pennsylvania’s CIO in March and is considering opportunities in the private sector. He began serving as CIO in 2012 but had joined the state as its CTO in 2008 and ushered in a massive cloud-computing project that is a model for other states considering similar moves. His departure followed Democrat Tom Wolf’s defeat of Republican incumbent Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania’s election.
IN: John MacMillan replaces Encinias in Pennsylvania and has closer political ties to Wolf, also an MIT grad with a background in technology. MacMillan officially became CIO on March 23. He spent 18 years working at IBM and assisted Ohio with its data center strategy last year. He also served government agencies in Canada for a decade.
OUT: Another political casualty occurred in Rhode Island, where Jack Landers resigned as state CIO after eight years working underneath three different governors. His resignation comes two months after the inauguration of new Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo.
IN: In February, new Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan named David Garcia as secretary of the state’s Department of Information Technology and CIO for the new administration. Garcia previously served as president of NMR Consulting, a firm he founded in 1996.
OUT: Garcia replaces Isabel FitzGerald, who led the state’s technology from 2013 until earlier this year. Her main focus was fixing the struggles of the state’s health insurance exchange, which was designed and implemented before she took office.
OUT: While not politically motivated, Sam Nixon stepped down as Virginia’s CIO in February to join the Virginia state Corporation Commission as chief administrative officer. Nixon served as CIO for four years, helping stabilize the state’s once-troubled outsourcing agreement with Northrop Grumman. Eric Link has been named as the interim CIO while the state searches for a full-time replacement.
IN: While not a state, Washington, D.C. tends to get lumped in, based on its unique role compared with other American cities. New Mayor Muriel Bowser named Tegene Baharu as the city’s chief technology officer, a move that follows his time as a deputy CTO. Baharu replaces Rob Mancini, who served four years under previous mayor Vincent Gray.
OUT: Nevada CIO David Gustafson announced on March 27 his plans to leave state government as well. Gustafson is moving to St. Louis, Mo., to take a leadership job with Charter Communications, a cable company. Gustafson had served as CIO since 2009.